New award inspired by memory of law enforcement officer who was a domestic violence victim

New award inspired by memory of law enforcement officer who was a domestic violence victim

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - In August 2008, Tarica Pulliam was murdered by her ex-boyfriend when she was 27 years old.

Pulliam was a law enforcement officer who had a positive effect on the community and her loss was felt by many, according to her sister.

"For a while, Tarica was like the biggest domestic violence death. There were several others, but it hit the community in a different way," Shequana Sidberry said. "A lot of people knew her in town and it just hit home for a lot of people that this is a reality."

Pulliam's ex-boyfriend, Anthony Bowen, shot himself 36 hours killing Pulliam.

Three years after Pulliam's death, Sidberry went to work for the District Attorney's Office and she also works closely with a domestic violence shelter.

Sidberry and outreach coordinator and advocate Andrea Stough worked together to come up with a way to remember Pulliam for who she was and not how she was killed.

They came up with the Impact Award and opened it up to five categories: law enforcement, community service agencies, educators, youth, and community members/volunteers.

"Her life becomes about what he did and not about who she was and she was such a part of the community," Stough said. "So we wanted to find people who are inspiring and mentoring their peers, who was that spark of hope, who was kind of being an agent of change."

Sidberry said she thinks it's a perfect way to honor her sister's memory.

"It meant a lot," she said. "Sometimes I want to try to hold back a lot of tears because it's just one of those things, but to know that there are people that are really supporting it and people that are so deserving of this award, it just means a lot, especially 10 years later."

A Take Back the Night rally and march were held in downtown Wilmington on Thursday night and the march and the Impact Award are part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Around 20 people were nominated for the Impact Award.

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